A part of my role as Service Quality Director for Thera (Scotland) is being responsible for our Being Heard strategy. Being Heard is a vital part of Thera’s vision and ensures that the people we support have face to face time where they can sit with myself, and their team, and discuss what is going right, and what could be improved, with their support in a friendly environment. It also encourages socialising and getting out into the community, both of which are things we at Thera find vital for leading fulfilling lives.
This year we decided to take a different approach than usual as I was worried that we were not making the events as meaningful as possible. So, since the summer, we have held sessions with our managers to look at the different ways we can involve people around Being Heard and ensure that everyone has the support they need to attend.
One of the challenges of this strategy is that everyone has unique support needs and it is our responsibility to ensure that we try to accommodate them. So far, we have held multiple sessions in Midlothian and The Highlands with an aim to maximising the knowledge of Managers when it comes to the people we support.
It is important to meet with the managers as they spend more time with the people that Thera supports than I am able to and are better suited to tell me what will work really well and what might not work. We have to consider their transport needs as well as accessibility at the venues we select. We’ve ran events in the past and we have learned that basing it in places in the communities that the people we support regularly access is really beneficial.
Emma Willis Butler is my Executive Assistant and an integral part of Thera (Scotland). She has helped me build our Being Heard strategy and believes we are making positive steps to improve the lives of the people we support.
Last year it felt very much like experimenting with what works and what doesn’t and now we’re putting it into practice. We’ve made good changes, know what type of events we want to have, and are working to put them on. It’s really about the people we support having that voice and the security of knowing they are being heard.
The Being Heard strategy is one of the most important parts of Thera’s vision for social care. Like everything else we do, it is designed to include the people we support in all decisions about their care. Being Heard allows them to regularly have their say about their care and allows them the opportunity to voice any concerns or issues.
I look forward to continuing to build the strategy and explore the impact that it has on the communities and individuals that Thera (Scotland) supports.